Bangkok Hospital - Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Co. Ltd.
As an expatriate, medical tourist of just a visitor to Thailand, what is your preferred hospital in Bangkok? Bumrungrad Hospital seems to be highly regarded, but quite a few rather go to Samitivej or BNH Hospital. It may come as a surprise that Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Co. Ltd., with its flagship hospital Bangkok Hospital, is the owner or a major shareholder of all the above mentioned health facilities.
Under its own 'brand name' of Bangkok Hospital, Bangkok Dusit runs hospitals in Bangkok and throughout Thailand in Pattaya, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Trat, Hua Hin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pakchong, Hat Yai, Koh Samui and Phuket.
Over the past decade, and also quite recently, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services has acquired majority stakes or important investments in the best known hospitals in Bangkok, especially those catering to an upmarket or international clientele.
Its 'sister hospitals' include :
- Ramkhamhaeng Hospital : BDMS is the largest shareholder with a stake of 38,24* %. Ramkhamhaeng is also listed on the SET. Ramkhamhaeng has multiple branches in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, north and northeastern Thailand.
- BNH Hospital : Not publicly listed, part of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services.
- Phyathai Hospital (Phyathai 1 and 2 are located in Bangkok, close to the Victory Monument, Phyathai 3 in Thonburi, and Phyathai Siracha). The major shareholder is Prasit Patana Public Co. Ltd., in which Bangkok Dusit Medical Services holds a stake of 97, 47* %. Prasit Patana.
- Paolo Memorial Hospital (4 branches in Bangkok and Samutprakarn). Acquired simultaneously with the acquisition of Phyathai Hospital.
- BDMS held an investment share of around 20 % in Bumrungrad Hospital, arguably Bangkok's best known internationally oriented hospital, for many years. Early 2020, BDMS make a takeover bid for Bumrungrad Hospital for no less than 102 billion Thai Baht (3.2 billion U.S. dollar at the time). However, this did not work out, and at the end of November 2020, BDMS sold its stake in Bumrungrad Hospital to a private investor.
- Samitivej Hospitals : A 95,76* % stake.
At present, the hospitals in which Bangkok Dusit Medical Services holds a major stake, are operating under their own 'brand name'. Often it is not even mentioned on their websites, that they are part of the holding. [Bangkok Dusit does not have its own website, but info can be accessed from the Bangkok General Hospital website].
In conclusion, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services is now by far the largest conglomerate, providing private medical services, mostly to upmarket and foreign (medical tourism) clientele. One could argue that too much 'medical power' has been allowed to aggregate in health services. Their management though, must be congratulated on their financial and managerial skills.
Surely, coordination between all the hospitals under its umbrella, must result in significant operational benefits and costs' savings.
The flipside of this is of course, that we have witnessed the development of a strong monopoly in the Bangkok and Thai private hospital sector. And it is a long-standing economical certainty that monopolies in the end may turn out less than beneficial to (health service) customers.
Actually, there is one other significant private hospital network operating in Bangkok and Thailand. Thonburi Hospital, in Bangkok located in Bangkok Noi, is at the head of a network of 19 hospitals in all regions of the country. Since this hospital is located on the 'Thonburi' side of Bangkok, it is however less known to foreigners, and likely international medical tourists.